Former Labour transport secretary Lord Adonis hasjoined the board of the body promoting the High Speed 2 rail line.
Adonis, who is currently shadow infrastructure minister, was named as non-executive board member of project promoter HS2 Ltd.
The organisation also hired Transport for London finance chief Steve Allen as it ramped up its bid to bring the £43bn project to reality.
HS2 Ltd chairman David Higgins said: “Lord Adonis’s knowledge, passion and commitment to the future of the railways in this country has been one of the key factors in getting HS2 to where we are today.
“As we move from concept to construction, that drive and focus will be of immense help in ensuring we deliver a lasting legacy that will be an integral part of our transport system for the decades to come.”
Adonis will work 72 days for HS2 Ltd over three years.
Allen will become chief financial officer.
HS2 Ltd chief executive Simon Kirby said: “On a project as large and complex as HS2, rigorous financial control is essential.
“That’s why I am delighted to welcome Steve to the team. His experience of delivering multi billion pound investment programmes will be invaluable as we move towards the start of construction in 2017.”